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Posted by MadaboutDana
May 14, 2019 at 02:06 PM


I do take Nathan/Daly’s point about markdown, but there are a fair number of good apps for macOS that support both markdown and rich text (e.g. Notebooks, FSNotes, Scrivener, just off the top of my head, and probably many others; those three apps are currently one-off payments rather than subscriptions, too).

For Windows, I dunno. But I’d have thought markdown was more of a rarity in the Windows world?

The reason us markdowners like markdown is that it leaves you with raw text files, so no proprietary tie-in (and I’d argue that even RTF is a kind of proprietary format, given the number of different versions that exist). This is a key advantage of markdown, which is one of the reasons I’ve found myself moving away from former favourites like Ulysses, Outlinely (both of which use proprietary XML to create their libraries), and back to simpler software like iaWriter, Notebooks, FSNotes, Joplin et al. (both of which create/navigate individual .txt/.md files which can also be manipulated with any number of other apps/programs, including search software like FoxTrot Pro – so no tie-in).

Why get so neurotic about tie-in? Well, a simple perusal of the many, many apps that have been discussed here is enough to show you why: so many of them have gone the way of the dodo. So many once glorious, much-lauded, beloved apps are no longer with us, but have made their way to that great archive in the sky. What’s more, so many of them are unusable, because their creators - for what are, I’m sure, perfectly good reasons - decided not to make them publicly available upon expiry. Or kindly did so, only for the app to lose its compatibility with the latest operating systems somewhere along the line.

Whereas UTF-8 (or, at a pinch, UTF-16) is unlikely to suffer this fate - or at least, not for a long time to come. Fussy as markdown is, that’s why many of us prefer it ;-)